Archive for: January 2014

How Insurance Companies try to Block Accident Claims

Most people who have been injured as a result of somebody else’s error are entitled to make accident claims against the negligent person or company. However, the actual expense of paying the settlement will often fall to an insurance company. In line with their reputation for being loathe to part with money even when a policy requires it, insurers have recently come under fire for using a number of tactics to try and falsely block accident claims. There are concerns that, at present, there are few legal repercussions or none at all for insurance companies caught deceiving victims in order to block a claim.

In order to avoid these sorts of tactics, it is important to always seek expert advice when making an accident compensation claim.

Exaggerating the Blame

Sometimes, the victim of an accident will be partly to blame themselves. In this case, they will still be entitled to make a claim against the negligent party, but the value of their claim will be reduced to reflect the fact that part of the blame was their own. For instance, if the person was in an accident that somebody else caused but did not take proper safety precautions themself, part of the blame will belong to them and part to the person who caused the accident.

Insurance companies have often been accused of exaggerating the level of blame that belongs to the victim in these cases. Generally, this involves offering an out-of-court settlement that is much lower than their true entitlement. They then falsely lead the victim to believe that this is all they can expect because of their own part in the blame.

Creating a Rush

Insurance companies have also been found to have deliberately rushed accident claims with the express intention of giving the victim less time to build the necessary case. Putting things into a rush reduces the time available for seeking advice and gathering evidence, making it more likely the victim will lose the claim and the insurer will not have to pay.

Furthermore, some insurance companies are reported to have actively discouraged victims from gathering evidence. Normally, this is done by deceptively claiming that gathering the evidence will create a delay. They then add the claim – an outright lie – that this delay will lower the amount of compensation the victim will receive, falsely leading the injured party to believe that gathering evidence is not in their best interest and weakening their case.

US-Russia Representatives Find Light Moment Despite Syrian Peace Talks

Delegation gifts are common courtesies for government leaders all over the world. The recent meeting of US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yielded bizarre gifts that gave a lighter note to possibly grim and unpredictable peace talks in Syria.

Lavrov had brought in two Russian Ushankas as delegation gifts. These are traditional Russian fur hats that have earflaps that tie to the top of the hat. The two hats went to two women on Kerry’s press staff. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki received a bubblegum-pink version of the hat.

In return, Kerry handed Lavrov Idaho potatoes, which he said were proper gifts because he came from Idaho and Lavrov associated Idaho with potatoes. Kerry found this out as he talked with Lavrov on the phone while he was in Idaho over the holidays.

Kerry joked that Lavrov told him he would not make vodka from the potatoes, which Lavrov said that it is only in Poland that they derive vodka from potatoes.

The Secretary of State made it clear that there is no hidden meaning with the potatoes or any metaphorical symbolism. He just wanted to surprise Lavrov with some good Idaho potatoes.